September 22, 2023

Understanding Pulmonary Fibrosis: A Call For Awareness This September

As we usher in September, it's time to turn our attention to a lesser-known but significant health issue: pulmonary fibrosis (PF). This disease, characterized by the thickening and scarring of lung tissues, makes it increasingly difficult for individuals to breathe as it progresses.

The Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation has designated September as Pulmonary Fibrosis Awareness Month, a time to foster community engagement, spread knowledge, and encourage support for ongoing research to unravel the mysteries surrounding this condition.

According to data from the Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation, over 250,000 Americans are living with PF. While it is more commonly diagnosed in individuals over the age of 70, cases of early onset are not uncommon, and as many as 40,000 Americans die from PF each year.

The exact causes of pulmonary fibrosis remain under investigation. Current research suggests that a combination of environmental and genetic factors might play a significant role in the development of the disease. If you notice symptoms such as a persistent cough, shortness of breath, or fatigue, it is recommended by the Mayo Clinic to consult with a healthcare provider specializing in lung diseases for a proper diagnosis, which might involve lung function tests, chest X-rays, and CT scans.

For individuals dealing with pulmonary fibrosis, sustaining a regular work routine can pose significant challenges. As noted by the American Lung Association, "Working with PF can be challenging, especially if your symptoms are progressing." The progressive nature of the disease often necessitates adjustments in the workplace to accommodate increasing physical limitations.

Employers and employees can collaborate to identify potential work modifications, such as relocating workspaces closer to restrooms, or allowing for frequent breaks to manage symptoms like fatigue and breathlessness. Exploring options like flexible work hours or telecommuting can be instrumental in helping individuals manage their condition more effectively. Open dialogues between employees with pulmonary fibrosis and their employers are vital in fostering a work environment that is both supportive and adaptive. For individuals whose employment capabilities are affected by pulmonary fibrosis, Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) can provide essential financial support.

Allsup experts have a 39-year track record of helping people with disabilities apply for and receive the benefits they earned while working. We understand the ins and outs of the complex SSDI system and can help people quickly determine if they are eligible. While SSDI applicants wait for a determination, our new Disability Financial SolutionsSM can provide valuable financial resources to assist with debt, everyday household expenses and much more.

To learn more about pulmonary fibrosis and how you can contribute during the awareness month, we encourage you to explore the resources available at the Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation.

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For more information about eligibility, applying for SSDI benefits or filing your appeal if you were denied, visit or call 1-800-678-3276.